Taking Care Of Business (Dec. 2015)

Heiligenstein - birthplace of a dream or two
Weingut Hirsch, Kamptal, DAC Reserve, Zöbinger Heiligenstein 1er Lage, Riesling, 2011

Hirsch is great, Heiligenstein is great. This is so amazing and regal in its crystalline expression of fruit and minerals that it's almost like dating out of your league. It's almost daft to say it's young and will improve, but I'm sure that any time I ever open a bottle, I'll want to keep it all to myself.  (Dec. 2, 2015)

Fat Guy, 229 NIS.

Weingut Hirsch, Kamptal, DAC Reserve, Zöbinger Gaisberg 1er Lage, Riesling, 2011

This is also great, but different. If the Heiligenstein is stellar and drinking it is like dating a super-model, this is the girl next door. A very beautiful and sexy girl next door, but more accessible, the expression of green apples, spices and minerals a more mundane one. (Dec. 27, 2015)

Fat Guy, 229 NIS.

Recanati, Wild Carignan Reserve, Judean Hills, 2013

This manages to somehow be the most massive of the local Carignans I've tasted, while also the most refined, as though the rocky core was chiseled with mean intent. Spicy/peppery black fruit, good acidity, roasted meat. Very impressive. (Dec. 5, 2015)

149 NIS.

Château Potensac, Medoc Cru Bourgeois, 2006

I don't know how many wines shined in 2006 in Bordeaux, but this sure didn't. It's a very plaintive wine that, while showing a very typical claret facade, has little to offer in terms of complexity, depth or power. Just a simple luncheon claret, the kind that retailers are forced to buy and then wind up offering at discount, which, given the high prices for Bordeaux in the first place, are not usually great value anyway. (Dec. 1, 2015)

Wine Route, 199 NIS on discount.

Chateau Tour Seran, Medoc, 2010

A charming little claret, way better than the Potensac, earthy and upfront, with classical restraint. (Dec. 6, 2015)

135 NIS.

Domaine Bernard Baudry, Chinon, Le Clos Guillot, 2010

Light notes of earth that combine with grape's typical green/herbal notes for a good example of how a dash of brett that is embedded in the mix can add complexity. A decent showing, but either I'm less enamored than I used to be or this is a wine that needs time. (Dec. 7, 2015)

Wine Route, 120 NIS.

Fratelli Brovia, Barbera d'Alba, Ciabot del Fi, 2012

This is from Dani Galil's latest catalog. This is sweet and bright, buoyed by good acidity, with spicy vanilla notes  and no discernible tannins. There are also signs of caramel. Not my style. (Dec. 4, 2015)

110 NIS.

Fratelli Brovia, Barolo, 2011

I may not have liked the Ciabot del Fi so much, but this is a winner, infused with spices, tea and minerals and utterly charming. Even the typical tannin crunch of Nebbiolo is more languid than usual and works to great effect. And how wonderful it is to find a young Barolo that sings this well. If I read the producer's site correctly, this is a blend of different vineyards from Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d'Alba and some the vines are as old as 40 years. (Dec. 8, 2015)

Dani Galil, 175 NIS. Great value.

Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello, Barbera d'Alba, Scudetto, 2011

Higher in alcohol (15%) than the Ciabot del Fi, both are not doing a good job of converting me to the grape. No worries, as you can see, this note is bracketed by two wines that easily sell me on the merits of the king of Piedmont grapes. (Dec. 10, 2015)

Dani Galil, 140 NIS.

Ellena Giuseppe, Barolo, 2011

This, like the Brovia Barolo, is another approachable young Barolo that doesn't sacrifice Old School character for said approachability. Basically it's sourced from thirty year old vines matured in French casks and traditional Slovenian foudres (half and half, but the I don't feel that the French oak dominates the wine). It's more floral than the Brovia but both are recommended as Barolos one can actually drink for pleasure rather than for show. (Dec. 11, 2015)

Domaine Robert Chevillon, Nuits St. Georges, Vieilles Vignes, 2010

Opened to test drive a batch I bought on discount at Wine Route, not that I had any expectations that a 2010 would be at its best, especially a vieilles vignes. Wait, I want to say something about that. I checked their page at the Kermit Lynch site and the vines are fifty years old, but they're not much older than most of the other bottlings, including the Aligote, and those are not labelled vieilles vignes. Anyway, this has lovely aromas, black cherries and forest floor laced with minerals, while the palate is still bitter and a little puckering. In short, it will indeed need a few years in the fridge - it's approachable now if you enjoy studying a wine's development over the course of an evening (I do) but I assume this will shut down soon. (Dec. 12, 2015)

This is listed as 399 NIS, but I bought it at a 1+1 deal, which makes the price lower than just about anywhere outside of France.

Michel Redde et fils, Pouilly-Fumé, Les Champs des Billons, 2011

Come on New Zealand, Italy, do you really think you can do better than Pouilly-Fumé when this is the competition? This is smoky, saline, with the depth of a Chablis Grand Cru at its best. (Dec. 15, 2015)

Fat Guy, 259 NIS.

Cantine San Marzano, Salento IGT, Il Pumo, 2013

The Salento IGT is located at Italy's 'heel' and going by its geography should be very unremarkable. in practice, it's distinguished for reds from certain indigenous grapes. This is a white comprised of Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia, and the reason I bought it was because I enjoyed Malvasia as a very fun quaffer in Slovenia this summer. This fits the bill indeed, a simple wine, with peaches and minerals that is a great wine to serve to guests. (Dec. 18, 2015)

Mersch, 58 NIS.

Lewinsohn, Garage de Pape, Rouge, 2013

Enjoyable and simulating as always, with pepper and minerals decorating fresh black fruit. (Dec. 19, 2015)

149 NIS.

Château Teyssier, St. Émilion Grand Cru, 2009

What a nice claret, quite typical, too, with black berries, cedar and earth, hints of leather.The tannins are grainy, yet savory. I expected this to be modern, maybe too extracted, but it rather seems to be a modern production cast in a classic mold. (Dec. 24, 2015)

Giaconda, 170 NIS.

So long, 2015. You were good to me, in many ways.

Pierre Péters, Champagne, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Cuvée de Réserve, .n.v

The good stuff always gets me with the brioche and nuts and mushrooms, but the ace here is an elegant bedrock of steely chalk that wouldn't be out of place in Puligny. Despite the fact that the Cuvée de Réserve is based on a solera system comprised of multiple back vintages, it is very fresh and vibrant for all that, the nutty character of those older vintages requiring time to show. (Dec. 31, 2015)

Fat Guy, 289 NIS.